Texas Federal Court Sentences Two Leading Zetas to Life in Prison

US Federal Courthouse - Del Rio Texas - Billy Hathorn CC
U.S. Federal Courthouse, Del Rio, Texas. Photo: Billy Hathorn CC

Two leading figures with Los Zetas are set to spend their life in prison for their role in smuggling thousands of pounds of marijuana into the U.S. and for sending weapons and ammunition into Mexico.

Emilio “La Tripa” Villalobos Alcala and his right hand man Jose Eliud “El Cochi Loco” Lugo Lopez appeared before U.S. District Judge Alia Moses in Del Rio. She sentenced them to a life term in prison, court records obtained by Breitbart Texas revealed.

The case against the Villalobos, who was a Zeta boss in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, and his right hand man became public shortly after their arrest in February 2013 when federal agents arrested them for leading an apparent effort to smuggle various assault rifles and ammunition into Mexico.

Soon after the arrest, agents were able to get an indictment and two subsequent superseding indictments charging them with multiple drug conspiracy and weapons smuggling charges tied to their roles as leading Zetas.

A federal jury convicted the two men on June 20, 2014 of one count of conspiracy to import marijuana, one count of conspiracy with intent to distribute marijuana, one count of conspiracy to possess firearms to further criminal activity and two counts of smuggling goods, information released to Breitbart Texas by the U.S. Attorney’s Office revealed.

During the trial for the two men jurors heard evidence about how they would kill Zeta associates that worked for them or their families if they failed to pay for drugs or weapons seized by authorities or if they refused to smuggle for them, information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office revealed.

“Today’s sentencing of Emilio Villalobos Alcala and Jose Eliud Lugo Lopez to life imprisonment sends a clear message of the serious consequences awaiting those who engage in this type of criminal activity,” said James Spero, the Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations in San Antonio.

“Operations such as these which rely on intimidation and violence to accomplish their goals represent the worst type of offenders,” said Robert Elder, the Special Agent in Charge for the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF). “ATF is proud to be among the agencies responsible for taking down two key players in the Los Zetas cartel.”

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